Crop Biotech Update

Study: Algae Could Replace 17% of U.S. Oil Imports

April 20, 2011

Seventeen percent of the U.S.' imported oil for transportation could be replaced by biofuel produced from algae grown in ponds of the Gulf Coast, according to a study conducted by the researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). They found that less water would be used in biofuels production if algae are grown in the sunniest and most humid climates such as the Gulf Coast, the Southeastern Seaboard, and the Great Lakes.

"Algae has been a hot topic of biofuel discussions recently, but no one has taken such a detailed look at how much America could make - and how much water and land it would require — until now," said Mark Wigmosta, lead author and a PNNL hydrologist. "This research provides the groundwork and initial estimates needed to better inform renewable energy decisions."

Read the full media release at http://www.pnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=859. The results of the study are published in the journal Water Resources Research: http://www.agu.org/journals/wr/.